Religion: Sexual Challenge

Nobody has opposed the sexual revolution more steadfastly than the Roman Catholic hierarchy. Only last year the Vatican reiterated its condemnation of all sexual relations outside marriage, calling this judgment an "absolute and immutable" part of God's law. In a statement last November the U.S. bishops were equally unyielding, saying that sex is "a moral and human good only within marriage."

Liberal Strength. A growing number of Catholic theologians, priests and educators openly favor a much more permissive policy, however. The most sweeping American challenge yet to the hierarchy's view occurs with this month's publication of a 322-page sex report,* four years...

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